A metal stock pot and other dirty dishes loaded in a dishwasher rack

CAN YOU PUT POTS AND PANS IN THE DISHWASHER?

Yes, you can put pots and pans in a dishwasher to help streamline cleanup and save you time in the kitchen. Checking to make sure your cookware is labeled “dishwasher safe” before beginning a wash cycle can help you get the most out of this helpful kitchen appliance.

Washing pots and pans can take time, especially after a big meal. Knowing which pots and pans can go in the dishwasher, however, can help save you the hassle of scrubbing your messiest dishes by hand. This guide will help you learn about what you can and can’t wash in the dishwasher to keep your kitchen tools looking and working their best.

WHAT DOES DISHWASHER SAFE MEAN WITH POTS AND PANS?

If your cookware is labeled "dishwasher safe," then you can wash these items in the dishwasher. If your pots and pans are labeled "dishwasher safe," then they're likely made from materials known to withstand high heat, wash sprays and detergent without damage, like stoneware or glass.

When washing pots and pans labeled “dishwasher safe,” stick to short wash cycles and drying cycles with low heat to better protect the finish. Understanding how your dishwasher works can help you simplify cleanup and get through mealtimes faster without sacrificing cooking ability.

WHICH POTS AND PANS ARE DISHWASHER SAFE?

Depending on the material, you may be able to wash certain pots or pans in the dishwasher. Pots and pans that are generally able to be washed in the dishwasher include cookware made of the following materials:

  • Anodized aluminum: Pots and pans made from anodized aluminum are protected from chemicals used during a wash cycle and can be washed in the dishwasher.

  • Ceramic: Pots and pans made from ceramic materials like china or porcelain that do not have hand-painted designs or embellishments are generally dishwasher-safe.

  • Glass: Glass containers are usually safe to clean in the dishwasher, but they may develop etched lines or white patches on the surface of the cookware through continuous dishwasher use.

  • Stainless steel: Stainless steel items usually remain unaffected by the hot water and chemicals used during wash cycles and are generally safe to wash in the dishwasher.

  • Teflon: Non-stick Teflon pots and pans labeled “dishwasher safe” can be washed in the dishwasher.

Before putting any piece of cookware through the dishwasher, check the item for dishwasher-safe labeling, even if it’s made from one of the materials listed above.

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WHICH POTS AND PANS SHOULD BE HAND WASHED?

Some pots and pans are better off being hand washed. The following items should not be placed in the dishwasher and should be hand washed instead: 

  • Non-stick: Most pots and pans with a non-stick coating also have fragile finishes, leaving them susceptible to imperfections during a wash cycle. Hand washing can help protect the non-stick coating for future use.

  • Copper: The high wash power of the dishwasher can leave the shiny bronze colored surface of copper pans dull and scratched, so it's better to hand wash them.

  • Cast iron, steel and tin: Pots and pans made from certain metal materials, such as cast iron or steel, are susceptible to rusting and should typically not be cleaned in the dishwasher. Hand wash these items instead. 

  • Non-anodized aluminum: Avoid putting aluminum cookware without a protective anodized coating through a dishwasher cycle. Hand wash non-anodized aluminum items to protect them from the heavy duty washing power. 

  • Hand-painted or embellished ceramic cookware: While ceramic cookware made from china or porcelain are generally dishwasher-safe, items with hand-painted designs, embellishments or metallic rims should be hand washed to avoid ruining the surface.

Be diligent with your cookware by always checking for dishwasher-safe markings before putting pots or pans through a dishwasher cycle. If an item hasn’t been labeled as “dishwasher safe,” avoid potential damage to your cookware by hand washing.

HOW TO HAND WASH POTS & PANS

If you're ever unsure whether to put your pots and pans in the dishwasher, knowing how to properly hand-wash items can help you protect your cookware from potential damage. To hand wash pots and pans, you'll need to know how to prep, wash, rinse and dry your dishes before they're ready to be stored away for next time.

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STEP 1: PREP THE COOKWARE

Prep your pots and pans by scraping areas of significant food build-up with a gentle cleaning tool or paper towel. To remove particularly stubborn pieces of food, you can try soaking the cookware in a mixture of cleaning solution like dishwashing soap or baking soda and hot water for about 15 to 30 minutes.

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STEP 2: WASH THE COOKWARE

Once you’ve removed the leftover food, fill the sink or a dishpan with hot water, adding a bit of dish soap before placing the items in as well. Using a sponge, gently scrub each piece of cookware all over (including the bottom) until all traces of food have been removed, checking frequently for any missed areas.

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STEP 3: RINSE THE COOKWARE

Once you’ve washed the item, rinse it with hot water from the faucet until all the suds are gone.

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STEP 4: DRY THE COOKWARE

Finally, set the pots and pans out on your counter to air dry or dry them by hand using a towel.

WHAT ARE OTHER THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT PUT IN THE DISHWASHER?

If you’re ever unsure about whether a particular item can be washed in the dishwasher, it's always best to wash it by hand. Items made from materials that are known to be fragile, like wood and most types of plastic, should stay out of the dishwasher.

Regardless of the type of material you're planning to clean, remember to always check items for dishwasher-safe labeling before loading your dishwasher and putting them through a cycle.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MAYTAG® DISHWASHERS

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